Such was the apparent case when a man brought in a Civil War sword "found in his attic". He even sheepishly mentioned that he used it to cut watermelon! Well, the sword was authentic, but the man wasn't. He was a friend of the appraisers and they put on a good show for all of us, even the producers.
The infamous sword episode was shown during the show's first season, but has been repeated numerous times. As an avid Antiques Roadshow viewer, I remember it vividly -- especially the part about using it to slice watermelon. It was all a dupe!
Out of the many of items brought in to be appraised, only a few ever make it on TV. The ones that make the show must be an unusual item, have a good story and be TV material. With this in mind, competition to be in the spotlight must be fierce and probably helped instigate the deception.
To their credit, PBS is removing all portions of the shows that include the two appraisers involved in the deception. Unfortunately, part of the PBS fund raising efforts included a video with show highlights. Since the sword episode was such a good story, it was included, and is causing the videotape to be now pulled. It is sad that this scheme will most likely wind up costing PBS quite a bit of money.
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